American Crossroads, a conservative PAC, throttles Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for the $800 billion stimulus in an ad. Here's the script:
"With Nevada in economic free fall, Harry Reid brags about his taxpayer-funded $787 billion bailout, saying, 'There's no question our hard work is paying off.' Paying off? Paying off for whom? More than 180,000 Nevadans are out of work. Nevada home values have plummeted...record foreclosures. Harry Reid's work is paying off, alright: paying off for Harry Reid's friends in Washington. But leaving Nevada -- with what?"
First, what the ad gets kinda right: it's true that Nevada received comparatively little through the stimulus, because it has a skinny state government and most of the stimulus money was allocated through (and pegged to the needs and size of) state and local government programs.
But the ad is a kind of paradox. How can Harry Reid's stimulus both pay off for Harry Reid and also threaten Harry Reid's reelection? The answer is that the Recovery has not paid off for Harry Reid -- or any of his colleagues in Washington -- at all. Despite numerous accounts of its successes, the Recovery Act has been a critical failure. In one poll, 64% of respondents said the president's economic policies had done nothing (or worse!) to help the economy.